China has decreased the period of time that travelers and close contacts of sick persons are required to stay in quarantine. This is a major correction of the Covid Zero policy, which has isolated the world’s second-largest economy and provoked public outrage.
According to a statement released by the National Health Commission on Friday, visitors to China would be compelled to undergo a mandatory quarantine that consists of five days spent in a hotel or government-run facility, followed by three days spent inside their own homes. The present regulations mandate a total of ten days spent in quarantine, with one week spent in a hotel followed by three days spent at home.
Now, the same shorter quarantine duration will also be applied to close connections of those who are sick. This will minimize the disruptive practice of contact-tracing, which has seen millions of people placed into centralized facilities as authorities strive to stop the spread of the disease. The message went on to say that close connections of close contacts will no longer be disclosed moving forward.
According to the statement, a contentious system that penalizes airlines for bringing virus cases into the country would also be eliminated, which will be an additional bonus to international travel ties.
In October and November, Bloomberg News reported that authorities were talking about implementing these adjustments.
On hearing the news, Chinese stock market indexes continued their upward trend, while the yuan appreciated and commodity prices shot up.
The change comes as China’s senior leadership has given orders for a more focused and decisive response to the Covid scandal, increasing optimism that the nation may back away from its harsh strategy that has exacted a mounting social and economic toll on the country.